Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

April 9, 2016

Amy Trumpeter

The trip to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, in East Iceland is approximately an 800km round trip from Reykjavik. It’s so worth it! Up to now, nothing has amazing me as much as the Atlas Moutains of Morocco, but I can now safely say that Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon has topped my list, and is the most beautiful travel destination that I have visited to date.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon with Gray Line Iceland

I was lucky enough to visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon with Gray Line Iceland. The first part of our day consisted of exploring the waterfalls of the South Coast of Iceland.

The South Coast of Iceland Vik to Jökulsárlón
A waterfall between Vik and Vatnajökull National Park

Then the scenery began to change on the approach to Vatnajökull National Park.

Vatnajökull National Park
Approaching Vatnajökull National Park

The view as soon as we arrived at the glacier, the view of Jökulsárlón lagoon greeted us with bright blue icebergs floating across the lagoon towards the Atlantic ocean.

Jokulsarlon 1
My first glimpse of Jokulsarlon

From the car park near Jökulsárlón, we turned right and walked around the shoreline to get a better view of the glacier and lagoon.

Walking around the shore of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Iceland.

The Breiðamerkurjökull glacier is constantly retreating, depositing ice into the lagoon. As the glacier retreats, the lagoon is expanding. This is the largest Glacier in Europe.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Our guide Regar told us that when she first visited the lagoon in 2001, it was approximately 13km wide. Today, in 2016, it is 25km wide. This expansion of the lagoon will continue until it becomes a fjord.

 Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is the deepest water in Iceland, with a depth of 300m.

 Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Here’s a better view of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier itself.

Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland
Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, Jökulsárlón, Iceland

The most amazing thing about being at the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is that you can actually hear the ice crumbling away from the glacier like an avalanche. At first I thought it was thunder, before realising what it was!

Jokulsarlon 13
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

It’s easy to see why Jökulsárlón was the film set of Die Another Day, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

Wildlife of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon bird life
Bird life at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

Despite the cold conditions (temperatures can drop below 0 in the winter) the lagoon is abundant with wildlife, especially bird life, because the tides bring with them shoals of herring.

birds Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Bird life at Jökulsárlón Lagoon, Iceland

I spotted several seals swimming between the icebergs. One little guys head popped up just as I took this shot…!

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
A seal swimming around the ice at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

The boats were not running and it was difficult to get a close up shot from the shore, but I managed to catch a glimpse of my new little friend!

Seal Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Seal swimming at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

I was also lucky enough to get this shot of 3 harlequin ducks swimming across the lagoon.

Jokulsarlon Harlequin Ducks
Harlequin Ducks swimming at Jökulsárlón Lagoon, Iceland

The trip to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon was absolutely amazing, one of the best travel experiences of my life. I highly recommend this trip for anyone visiting Iceland.

Travel Tips – Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

  • Research current weather conditions before you go, to maximise your trip.
  • If you want to go on a tour of the South Coast of Iceland to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from Reykjavik, you can book here.
  • Gray Line Iceland tour buses
  • Wrap up warm – a thermal base layer, fleece, Gortex Jacket, waterproof over trousers and waterproof walking boots are recommended. See What to Pack for Iceland.
  • Make sure that your camera is fully charged and that you have spare memory cards!
  • Boat trips go across the Lagoon from May to September. However, if you are visiting Iceland at a different time of year, I still recommend a trip – I took my photos from the shore.

For more photography from my travels, follow me on Instagram. If you enjoyed this blog, you might like to also read about the South Coast of Iceland and the Game of Thrones Tour of Iceland.

*Many thanks go to my Icelandic sponsons ODDSSON ho(s)tel who provided me with complimentary accommodation during my time in Iceland, and Gray Line Iceland for giving me a 50% discount on the South Coast and Jökulsárlón Lagoon trip.